MHG12014 - Loch Borralie


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • HUT CIRCLE (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NC 3763 6732. A much ruined hut circle, 30 ft in overall diameter, lies on a slight rise where there is very little sand accumulation.
Another hut in a similar state of dilapidation, 29 ft to 30 ft in diameter overall, lies about 125 ft to the NE. A dyke and clearance cairn lie nearby.
Information from Dr C S Sandeman, Durness, 14 March 1967; R W K Reid 1968. <1>

The two hut circles occur in open limestone country. The first, at NC 3762 6728, is adjacent to a small rocky knoll and measures 7.0m in internal diameter. The hut wall has an almost continuous inner face of slabs on edge averaging 0.2m high. Rubble backs this face in the SE; elsewhere only occasional walling stones are visible. The entrance in the SE is marked by slabs on edge. Abutting the wall exterior to the S of the entrance in an area of small burnt stones, 5.0m by 3.0m.
The second hut, at NC 3767 6732, is ill-defined and measures 11.0m overall. The wall is represented by random stones and boulders protruding up to 0.4m through the turf. Sporadic facing stones give a wall width of about 1.6m. A lack of stone in the SE arc suggests the entrance is here. The signs of contemporary cultivation are restricted to small isolated clearance heaps and vestiges of walls or linear clearance.
Surveyed at 1:10,000.
Visited by OS (J B) 24 November 1978.

Structure, banks and cairns, 90 m N/S in overall extent.
A) Circular structure, 10 m in external diameter with walls 1.15 m thick. Only the tops of the stones are visible through turf. These are a mixture of large boulders and smaller angular stones (mostly basal quartzite, some limestone). There are no banks delineating the wall line. The SE quadrant has almost no stone visible and may have been robbed out. Very small stretches of an internal wall-face are visible. The wall seems to have an inner and outer skin with rubble core. There are no internal features evident.
B) To the N of the hut circle is a 60 m-long arc of walling marked mainly by large boulders several metres apart. Curves to NNW.
C) 6 m S of the hut circle is another wall, more continuous than (b) and rubble built. Forms an arc about 15 m long (arcing towards the SE). The wall is about 0.7 m wide and has clearly discernible inner and outer faces.
D) 4 m SE of the hut circle is a clearance cairn, 4.8 m x 2 m.
E) On the low contour overlooking and 21 m WNW of the hut circle is another clearance cairn, 2m in diameter.
F) 5 m S of the SE end of © is a clearance cairn, 2.3 m in diameter.
G) 22 m SSW of (a) is a clearance cairn, 2 m in diameter.
H) 26 m SSW of (a) is a clearance cairn, 2.2 m in diameter.
i) 70 m NE of (a) is a clearance cairn, 3.2 m in diameter. (at NC 3773 6735)
A burnt ridge of limestone was noted adjacent to this site (cf site 50).
Prehistoric hut circle and associated field system. Hut circle is marked on OS map. Burnt limestone may indicate ground clearance in advance of cultivation (cf site 50). See NMRS NC36NE 32.
In base of shallow valley running NNE/ SSW. The ground rises gently at either side (E + W) of this area. Views S to Kyle of Durness.
Recommendations: This site is in poor condition though the ground around is mostly stable. The tumbled nature of the walls suggests it has been more exposed in the past. Burrowing is also a problem. Continued monitoring is essential. If burrowing worsens then excavation would be necessary to recover information. Control rabbits. <2><3>

The second hut circle is assigned a separate site number in GUARD's report (see MHG53178). <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NC 3762 6730 (73m by 59m) (3 map features)
Map sheet NC36NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish DURNESS

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